Nature and wildlife conservation must have a multi-pronged approach. It cannot be the effort of a few government bodies or citizens’ groups. There must be synergy and cooperation between the various organizations, and education about this issues for everyone concerned. Just like in nature, there is strength in numbers in conservation.
There are already great examples of steps being taken in the right direction.
Rescuing, Rehabilitating and Educating
Many wildlife centers are taking steps from the grassroots level, to protect individual animals and help them get back in the wild. They are also educating the public about the necessity of conservation.
Efforts against Fragmentation and Invasive Species
The Virginia Natural Heritage Program is in place to counter the effects of habitat fragmentation and other alarming environmental issues facing Virginians. The program has a highly trained staff, GIS (Geographic Information Systems) capabilities and a large database of critical habitat locations to help them in their conservation efforts.
Most recently, the program contributed to the Southern Watershed Area Management Program (SWAMP). The SWAMP initiative is a joint effort between Chesapeake and Virginia Beach to protect the watershed of the south. The Virginia Natural Heritage Program has also taken steps to combat invasive species with the Invasive Species Working Group, in cooperation with the Virginia Native Plant Society.
Many conservation groups and environmental safety organizations are directly or indirectly contributing to environmental improvement. Some are helping local landowners with easements, and protecting their grasslands, forests, wetlands, and agricultural lands. In this particular case, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has made this possible by offering technical and financial assistance for land protection.
Battling Climate Change
Tackling climate change by first acknowledging the threat, and then taking steps to implement clean fuel policies, sustainable solutions, risk management can possibly slow down or stall climate change. State environmental agencies have already taken note and are carrying out research, such as the Hampton Roads case studies, to test climate change vulnerability. This is the first step to fixing the problem.
State and Non-State Conservancy Preserves and Refuges
Conservancy Preserves like the Blackwater River, Falls Ridge, North Landing River and the Warm Springs Mountain protect wildlife and allow visitors to learn more about them. These preserves are protected with the help of non-profit organizations like The Nature Conservancy. Such organizations also protect conservation areas like Walnut Hill Preserve, Meadow Creek and other areas that are not open to the public. In this way, state and non-state agencies work together to help protect Virginia’s natural resources. Achievements like the recently-opened Crow’s Nest Natural Area Preserve are inspiring. So is the fact that Virginia is home to 14 national wildlife refuges, where wildlife can go back to their preserved habitats and thrive.
Know more about it in “Wildlife Centers in Virginia”.